Houston Auto Accident Lawyer
Attorney for Auto Accidents & Injuries: Car, Truck, 18 wheeler, drunk driving accidents and uninsured motorist accidents.
In 2009 there were 10.8 million motor vehicle accidents in the United States according to the U.S. Census Bureau. People are injured and killed every day due to the negligent actions of other drivers over which they have no control. Today, it seems that the number of risks we face on the road just keep growing. Commercial motor vehicles, drunk drivers, traffic law violations, driver inattentiveness and distraction, construction zones—these are just some examples of hazards we may face every time we take the wheel.
At Simmons and Fletcher, we handle all types of auto collisions. We help victims of 18 wheeler accidents, motorcycle accidents, automobile collisions, drunk driving accidents and auto-pedestrian collisions on a regular basis. We will obtain for you a copy of the police report so that we can determine who is responsible for your injuries and whether they have insurance coverage to cover you.
If there is coverage, we will set up your claim with the insurance adjuster and gather and submit the information required so that you can focus on what is really important—getting the medical treatment you need to so you can get back on your feet. If the other driver does not have coverage or fails to carry enough coverage, we will make sure to go over your own insurance policy with you to determine if you have uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage (UM/UIM coverage) that would apply to your case. If so, we will be glad to represent you in your uninsured or underinsured motorist claim as well.
Commercial Motor Vehicle Collisions
Automobile accidents involving 18 wheelers and other commercial motor vehicles can be catastrophic. These vehicles weight far more than the average car. At Simmons and Fletcher, we have experience handling 18 wheeler collisions. The trucking industry is no stranger to Houston. The Port of Houston is the sixth largest port in the United States. Two major railroads and over 150 truck lines provide the delivery network that connects the Port of Houston to the rest of the United States, Mexico and Canada. (Statistics taken from the Greater Houston Partnership.) What this means for Houston drivers is that every driver can expect to share the road with several commercial motor vehicles every time they drive anywhere of significant distance.
While 18 wheelers are usually easy for automobile drivers to spot, these truck drivers cannot always see other vehicles around them. Because of this, semi rig operators have to be very careful to maintain safe distance, proper attentiveness or look out and to stay alert. Their failure to do so can result in catastrophic injuries. As a result, numerous Federal and State laws have been enacted to try to prevent commercial motor vehicle collisions. Among other things, federal laws regulate the amount of sleep a driver must have, what he can consume, how often he can go “on duty” and for how long, what he must do to inspect and maintain his vehicle and other conduct. Our Houston truck accident attorneys understand the risks and requirements of 18 wheeler drivers understand the laws that apply to truck drivers and will use them to help injury victims get the justice they deserve.
Drunk Driver Accidents
Thousands of people are injured and killed every year by drunk driving accidents and people who are driving under the influence of drugs. Driving is a task that requires constant alertness and awareness as well as the ability to quickly process information and react. Alcohol-impaired driving and/or drug use result in poor alertness, reduced awareness and delayed reaction time. Under Texas law, a driver is considered intoxicated if his blood alcohol level exceeds .08.
Driving while intoxicated and/or under the influence is a crime. Texas takes drunk drivers serious. If a person is caught driving over the legal limit, he can be jailed, fined or have his license suspended. Additionally, if a drunk driver causes a collision that results in another’s death, he can be held responsible for intoxicated manslaughter under Texas Penal Code 49.08. Intoxicated manslaughter is a second degree felony punishable by 2-20 years in prison and up to a $10,000.00 fine.
At Simmons and Fletcher, we also take drunk drivers very serious. Our families are on the roads too. If you are hit by a driver who exceeds this limit, that driver is criminally negligent. You may be entitled to punitive damages in addition to your medical bills, pain, suffering, physical impairment and scarring caused by the drunk driver’s negligence. We have helped numerous families recover from the devastating effects that drunk driving accidents have worked upon their lives and are here to help you.
Traffic Law Violations
Traffic laws are designed to protect people. But every day we see them violated. When someone breaks a traffic law and causes a collision, this constitutes negligence. “Negligence” is the failure to act as an ordinary prudent person would under the same or similar circumstances. Examples of traffic law violations that often form the basis of a negligence cause of action are: running a red light, failing to yield right of way, speeding, failing to stop at a stop sign and making an unsafe lane change.
When someone violates a statute that is specifically intended to protect other drivers, that driver can be held responsible for “negligence per se” or negligence as a matter of law. However, what many people do not realize is that evidence that a driver received a traffic ticket is NOT admissible in a civil court of law to prove negligence. A traffic citation is considered a determination of fault made by an officer based upon hearsay. As a result, the courts generally will not allow the ticket to come into evidence in a negligence case unless the offending driver admits guilt.
Because the ticket is not admissible, you need a car wreck lawyer who will take depositions, question eye-witnesses and gather the evidence necessary to prove that the other driver broke the traffic law in question. Eye-witness testimony can be critical in cases where the other driver is claiming they had the green light instead of you. The longer you wait to bring your case to us, the harder it is to track down the witnesses who can help you win your case. So please, call us today for a free consultation. Our litigation attorneys are here to assist you.
Driver Inattentiveness and Distraction
The duty to maintain a proper lookout applies to all drivers on all Texas roads. Drivers fail to meet this duty for a number of reasons. A moment of distraction to change the radio station, answering a call or text, a lack of sleep, or simply look at something other than the road ahead is all it takes for a collision to occur.
Auto-pedestrian collisions, bicycle wrecks and motorcycle wrecks often are a result of driver inattentiveness. Drivers get so used to looking for the automobiles that they can easily forget they are sharing the road with people, bicycles and motorcycles as well. Failure to notice that blip in the mirror before a lane change can be a fatal mistake. At Simmons and Fletcher, our auto accident attorneys are here to help if you suspect you have been the victim of driver inattentiveness or distraction.
Construction Zone Accidents
If you have lived in Harris County, you are familiar with the traffic congestion in the area. It seems like the major arteries—290, I-10, I-45 and Hwy 59—are constantly needing to be expanded to handle the traffic. In addition to the above, we sit so close to the ocean that the moist weather and geographic terrain allow for easy deterioration of asphalt and other road surfaces. All of these factors result in road construction.
Drivers have a duty to maintain a proper lookout. With regards to construction zones, this means paying attention to what other traffic is doing and what the workers are doing. A driver’s failure to maintain that proper lookout is negligence. The fact that a construction zone caused a traffic slow-down does not excuse a driver from maintaining that proper lookout. Simmons and Fletcher focuses on proving that the construction zone was not the real cause but the driver’s failure to pay attention and account for it was.
In summary, if you need an auto accident lawyer, Simmons and Fletcher will be happy to help. We have two Board Certified Personal Injury Trial Lawyers who can take the case to court to fight for the justice you deserve. We handle all types of motor vehicle collision cases from car wrecks to motorcycle accidents to 18 wheeler collisions. Let us fight for your rights today!